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HAPPY EASTER!

FROM THE ARCHIVE 31st March 2014 & 2015 because another year has gone and I still haven’t created a new Easter image!
May Easter Joy Attend You © First Night Design

May Easter Joy Attend You © First Night Design

I’m never quite sure how to categorise creations like May Easter Joy Attend You. Is it a collage? Is it digital art, a term that applies to everything I do? Why do I concern myself? Sites like Saatchi Art and Fine Art America need  you to add this information when you upload an image. It drives me nuts, partly because I loathe categories.

The method I use is collage in that I prepare a background and then bring in elements around a particular theme and blend to a seamless whole, rather than what is strictly known as collage where elements are arranged seemingly haphazardly such as in Indian Glories.

In this instance, I prepped a background by doctoring one of Kerstin Frank’s textures, the same one I used for Alice’s Adventures.

Some of the Easter elements I brought in were discarded and replaced but not before I’d worked on them quite substantially — all good experience and not a waste of time!

These rabbits looked best in the Darken mode. But this meant the egg was far from clear. I used the Lasso Tool to select it (the Magnetic Tool is never accurate enough unless you are working with sharply defined objects) and created a new layer for the egg alone. This layer I left in its Normal state and placed it on top of the original egg. It needed touching up with the Brush and Clone Stamp Tools before I was satisfied.

The Darken mode also meant that the lower part of the right-hand rabbit had taken on the green of the background. This needed adjustment which I did by tracing the exact shape of the offending part with the Lasso Tool.  I moved to the background image and chose a lighter area in the ‘sky’ to create a new layer of the rabbit-leg shape. I left it in a Normal state and placed it behind the rabbit. Several colour adjustments were needed until the rabbit’s nether regions matched the rest of his body!

The Multiply mode was ideal for the hot air balloon but left the chicks in the basket more green than yellow. Mind you, one could argue that would be appropriate as surely the poor little blighters would be air sick! I used the same technique on them as I did on the egg to bring their yellow feathers back to life.

This left me with the bottom half of the balloon which, like the chicks and the rabbit, had taken on too much of the background to match up with the rest of the balloon. I used the same procedure as with the rabbit’s nether regions to bring it up to scratch.

I had originally planned to use the Easter greeting on the hot air balloon graphic at the top of the image but it failed to make the impact I had envisaged so I made a type layer instead with a font called Great Vibes.

The last touch was using the graphic [left] by removing its border and background and applying a ‘drop shadow’ and ‘bevel and emboss’ effect.

 

 

 

Available at the following galleries:
Redbubble
Crated
Zazzle US
Zazzle UK
Fine Art America
Fine Art England

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

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#photorehabcovermakeover Week 21 The Conjuring © Sarah Vernon

#photorehabcovermakeover Week 21 The Conjuring © Sarah Vernon

Week 21? Who’d ‘ave thunk.  I didn’t have a chance to take part in The Photo Rehab Cover Makeover last week. Run by Desley Jane of Musings of a Frequent Flying Scientist and Lucile of Lucile de Goday, the challenge this time is to re-imagine a cover for the horror film, The Conjuring. No, I’ve never heard of it either and probably won’t rush to see it as I’m not a particular fan of horror, unless it’s the subtle variety like The Turn of the Screw.

In 1971, Carolyn and Roger Perron move their family into a dilapidated Rhode Island farm house and soon strange things start happening around it with escalating nightmarish terror. In desperation, Carolyn contacts the noted paranormal investigators, Ed and Lorraine Warren, to examine the house. What the Warrens discover is a whole area steeped in a satanic haunting that is now targeting the Perron family wherever they go. To stop this evil, the Warrens will have to call upon all their skills and spiritual strength to defeat this spectral menace at its source that threatens to destroy everyone involved. IMdb

The main image (luminosity mode) is a bad iPhone photograph of a painting showing a house — somewhere in Herefordshire, I think — that used to belong to my mother’s family. If you ignore the dirty marks of the mobile’s screen, the residence looks rather grand. What I wouldn’t have done to inherit it!

hoskynshouseblog

The underlay (normal mode) is part of a texture by 2 Lil’ Owls.

I sharpened edges and adjusted contrast on both images in Photoshop before adding the text.

‘From the director of Saw and Insidious’, ‘Based on the true case files of The Warrens’, the actors’ names and ‘directed by James Wan’ are all in Sukhumvit Set Semi Bold. The title font is Catharsis Requiem Bold, which seemed rather appropriate with its nod to the Gothic. I also gave the title and the actors a bevel and emboss, drop shadow and inner glow style.

#photorehabcovermakeover Week 21 The Conjuring © Sarah Vernon

#photorehabcovermakeover Week 21 The Conjuring © Sarah Vernon

Click here for instructions if you would like to take part in future challenges.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


The Cobb

The Cobb © Kate Prior

The After-Before Friday (ABFriday) challenge at Visual Venturing — established by Stacy Fischer — happens every first Friday of the month. The idea is to download the given image and cast your spell with post-processing. Although I haven’t had confirmation, Kate Prior’s photograph is clearly The Cobb at Lyme Regis in Dorset. Coincidentally, Lyme and the Cobb feature heavily in Tracy Chevalier’s Remarkable Creatures as mentioned in my Looking for Fossils post. And anyone who has read John Fowles’ The French Lieutenant’s Woman, or seen the film with Meryl Streep and Jeremy Irons, will know all about the area and The Cobb in particular.

I overlaid the image with two of my own textures to create a painterly effect. I can’t say I’m entirely happy with the result and if I’d had time, I would doubtless have continued to experiment.

Click here to see the submissions for August and here for the rules.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


I discovered Stacy Fischer of Visual Venturing when Joanne of Coffee Fuels My Photography took part in Stacy’s monthly After-Before Friday (ABFriday) challenge, which happens every first Friday of the month. The idea is to download the given image and cast your spell with post-processing. The image for July was provided by Robin Kent.

The deadline for July’s submission was some days ago but I thought I would nevertheless see what I could come up with. As regular followers know, I rarely plan or have anything specific in mind so that the result can be a complete surprise. Here it is.

goldcapitolhill

I overlaid the image with two textures. The first was 2LO Haunting 5 from Denise Love at 2 Lil’ Owls, bought via Design Cuts. I cycled through Photoshop’s blending modes without finding anything that looked remotely interesting. I left it at ‘colour burn’ and searched through my own backgrounds. I chose a grungy green created for His Master’s Voice. I reduced the opacity to 87% and tried ‘colour burn’ for this as well, which gave Capitol Hill a gold, bronze and red feel which appealed to me.

I’m also rather fond of the green-grunge-only effect.

greencapitolhill

I hope to enter the challenge next month for real.

Click here to see the submissions for July and here for the rules.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


First Night Design

A couple of mornings ago I woke up with a scene in my mind’s eye and knew it was something I wanted to create.  I saw desert, night sky and camels.  I set to work last night.

Kerstin Frank & The Graphics FairyKerstin Frank & The Graphics Fairy

But I did not discover Kerstin‘s textures above till this morning and was convinced I could do something with two I already had.

So what happened, Sarah?

A happy accident. I put together two textures from Kerstin Frank that I had previously downloaded and experimented with blending.  It needed more work to create even half the background I had envisaged but I decided to add the camel from The Graphics Fairy and take it from there.  Yet I could not find the camel.  I knew it was on my computer but it was already past midnight and I didn’t have the energy to search properly nor…

View original post 159 more words


One from the archive while I continue to enjoy the company of my beautiful niece.
Take care and keep laughing!
Sarah

First Night Design

Welcome to followers old and new and thank you for all your lovely ‘likes’!

Take the Cow by the HornsTake the Cow by the Horns © First Night Design

As soon as I saw this cow among the archives at The Library of Congress, I was smitten.  Wouldn’t you be?  Look at her eyes.  There’s an animal you wouldn’t dream of messing with but the expression is so direct that she holds you in her gaze without allowing you to look away.  I may have called the piece Take the Cow by the Horns but I would not recommend it!

Cow

I created the setting by adding a background from Asunder Ephemera and used Photoshop to adjust the colours and tones until I felt I had done her justice.

The cow has an interesting provenance, coming as she does from a scrapbook of illustrations that were collated by Hans Christian Andersen and A L Drewsen…

View original post 40 more words


Sadly, I haven’t had a chance to create any more Easter designs this year, partly because I’ve run out of ideas. I’m bored with eggs and rabbits and whimsy, and nothing amusing is coming to mind, so here’s a re-post of May Easter Joy Attend You from 2014 of which I’m rather fond even though it contains rabbits and chicks and an egg!

I dedicate this re-post to the artist Mary of Oil Pastels by Mary because we were discussing working with layers in Photoshop a couple of days ago. Do visit Mary’s blog to see her beautiful work.

May Easter Joy Attend You © First Night Design

May Easter Joy Attend You © First Night Design
Available as Posters, Cards, and Prints [Redbubble]

I’m never quite sure how to categorise creations like May Easter Joy Attend You. Is it a collage? Is it digital art, a term that applies to everything I do? Why do I concern myself? Sites like Saatchi Art and Fine Art America need  you to add this information when you upload an image. It drives me nuts, partly because I loathe categories.

The method I use is collage in that I prepare a background and then bring in elements around a particular theme and blend to a seamless whole, rather than what is strictly known as collage where elements are arranged seemingly haphazardly such as in Indian Glories.

In this instance, I prepped a background by doctoring one of Kerstin Frank’s textures, the same one I used for Alice’s Adventures.

Some of the Easter elements I brought in were discarded and replaced but not before I’d worked on them quite substantially — all good experience and not a waste of time!

These rabbits looked best in the Darken mode. But this meant the egg was far from clear. I used the Lasso Tool to select it (the Magnetic Tool is never accurate enough unless you are working with sharply defined objects) and created a new layer for the egg alone. This layer I left in its Normal state and placed it on top of the original egg. It needed touching up with the Brush and Clone Stamp Tools before I was satisfied.

The Darken mode also meant that the lower part of the right-hand rabbit had taken on the green of the background. This needed adjustment which I did by tracing the exact shape of the offending part with the Lasso Tool.  I moved to the background image and chose a lighter area in the ‘sky’ to create a new layer of the rabbit-leg shape. I left it in a Normal state and placed it behind the rabbit. Several colour adjustments were needed until the rabbit’s nether regions matched the rest of his body!

The Multiply mode was ideal for the hot air balloon but left the chicks in the basket more green than yellow. Mind you, one could argue that would be appropriate as surely the poor little blighters would be air sick! I used the same technique on them as I did on the egg to bring their yellow feathers back to life.

This left me with the bottom half of the balloon which, like the chicks and the rabbit, had taken on too much of the background to match up with the rest of the balloon. I used the same procedure as with the rabbit’s nether regions to bring it up to scratch.

I had originally planned to use the Easter greeting on the hot air balloon graphic at the top of the image but it failed to make the impact I had envisaged so I made a type layer instead with a font called Great Vibes.

The last touch was using the graphic above by removing its border and background and applying a ‘drop shadow’ and ‘bevel and emboss’ effect.

May Easter Joy Attend You © First Night Design

May Easter Joy Attend You © First Night Design
Available as Posters, Cards, and Prints

Available at the following galleries:
Redbubble
Crated
Zazzle US
Zazzle UK
Fine Art America
Fine Art England

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


One from the archives.

First Night Design

Photography Prints

Today I’m sharing one of my artworks that has become popular on Pinterest.  The word is spreading!  I suspect that Pinterest might ultimately become the marketing choice above all else.

Unicorn Fresco is an early effort with Photoshop. Starting with a stencilled drawing, I used several of my own textures and handwriting, as well as various Photoshop brushes, to give the impression of a fresco that has not stood the test of time and has been used as an outlet for graffiti, albeit of a decorative nature! I was inspired by a Staffordshire Pottery unicorn which belonged to my mother.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

View original post


One from the archives.

First Night Design

Dancing in Greek

“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans,” said John Lennon, though he wasn’t the first.  This certainly happens when I’m in Photoshop.  I started with creams and greens and a romantic couple walking on the beach.  An experimental change of blending modes with the textures, one of which is a freebie from French Kiss, produced this vivid mahogany-like backdrop and I was sold!

I added a photograph of the Russian ballerina Tamara Platonovna Karsavina (1885–1978) from The Library of Congress and turned her into a silhouette.  The result reminds me of the lustrous designs on Ancient Greek  pottery, hence the title, Dancing in Greek.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

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dancinggreekvogue

Yes, I’ve had PhotoFunia again! This might just be my favourite thus far as I happen to think that Dancing in Greek looks rather splendid on Vogue’s cover.

You may remember that I added a photograph of the Russian ballerina Tamara Platonovna Karsavina (1885–1978) from The Library of Congress and turned her into a silhouette overlaying a background of my textures.

And then I couldn’t resist putting myself on the cover. This photo was taken about five years ago.

meonvogue

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


May Easter Joy Attend You © First Night Design

May Easter Joy Attend You © First Night Design
Available as Posters, Cards, and Prints

I’m never quite sure how to categorise creations like May Easter Joy Attend You. Is it a collage? Is it digital art, a term that applies to everything I do? Why do I concern myself? Sites like Saatchi Art and Fine Art America need  you to add this information when you upload an image. It drives me nuts, partly because I loathe categories.

The method I use is collage in that I prepare a background and then bring in elements around a particular theme and blend to a seamless whole, rather than what is strictly known as collage where elements are arranged seemingly haphazardly such as in Indian Glories.

In this instance, I prepped a background by doctoring one of Kerstin Frank’s textures, the same one I used for Alice’s Adventures.

Some of the Easter elements I brought in were discarded and replaced but not before I’d worked on them quite substantially — all good experience and not a waste of time!

These rabbits looked best in the Darken mode. But this meant the egg was far from clear. I used the Lasso Tool to select it (the Magnetic Tool is never accurate enough unless you are working with sharply defined objects) and created a new layer for the egg alone. This layer I left in its Normal state and placed it on top of the original egg. It needed touching up with the Brush and Clone Stamp Tools before I was satisfied.

The Darken mode also meant that the lower part of the right-hand rabbit had taken on the green of the background. This needed adjustment which I did by tracing the exact shape of the offending part with the Lasso Tool.  I moved to the background image and chose a lighter area in the ‘sky’ to create a new layer of the rabbit-leg shape. I left it in a Normal state and placed it behind the rabbit. Several colour adjustments were needed until the rabbit’s nether regions matched the rest of his body!

The Multiply mode was ideal for the hot air balloon but left the chicks in the basket more green than yellow. Mind you, one could argue that would be appropriate as surely the poor little blighters would be air sick! I used the same technique on them as I did on the egg to bring their yellow feathers back to life.

This left me with the bottom half of the balloon which, like the chicks and the rabbit, had taken on too much of the background to match up with the rest of the balloon. I used the same procedure as with the rabbit’s nether regions to bring it up to scratch.

I had originally planned to use the Easter greeting on the hot air balloon graphic at the top of the image but it failed to make the impact I had envisaged so I made a type layer instead with a font called Great Vibes.

The last touch was using the graphic above by removing its border and background and applying a ‘drop shadow’ and ‘bevel and emboss’ effect.

May Easter Joy Attend You © First Night Design

May Easter Joy Attend You © First Night Design
Available as Posters, Cards, and Prints

Available at the following galleries:
Redbubble
Crated
Zazzle US
Zazzle UK
Fine Art America
Fine Art England

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


When Worlds Collide © Sarah Vernon

When Worlds Collide by Sarah Vernon @ Redbubble — Sold!
Available as Posters, Cards, and Prints

The original image is a Vernon family photograph on a postcard though who is who has been lost to history. I love the juxtaposition of the old and the new, the horse-drawn carriage versus the automobile and the bicycle. I restored the photograph (it was faded and indistinct) partly by adding duplicate layers in Photoshop and experimenting with blends. Lastly, I added several of my own textures to produce the final ‘burnt’ effect.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


A couple of mornings ago I woke up with a scene in my mind’s eye and knew it was something I wanted to create.  I saw desert, night sky and camels.  I set to work last night.

But I did not discover Kerstin‘s textures above till this morning and was convinced I could do something with two I already had.

So what happened, Sarah?

A happy accident. I put together two textures from Kerstin Frank that I had previously downloaded and experimented with blending.  It needed more work to create even half the background I had envisaged but I decided to add the camel from The Graphics Fairy and take it from there.  Yet I could not find the camel.  I knew it was on my computer but it was already past midnight and I didn’t have the energy to search properly nor visit The Graphics Fairy to download it again.

What happened next, Sarah?

During the search for the camel, I came across a charming vintage postcard depicting the home of Alfred Lord Tennyson – Aldworth House in Haslemere, Surrey. Let’s try that, I thought, and save it for another artwork.

Aldworth House

Aldworth House

The postcard has a facsimile of Tennyson’s signature on the right and the first stanza of In Memoriam on the left:

I held it truth, with him who sings
To one clear harp in divers tones,
That men may rise on stepping-stones
Of their dead selves to higher things.

No sooner had I plonked the postcard on top of the Frank textures than I knew the piece was transformed.  and once I had made certain changes and experimented with different Photoshop states, it became clear that camels under the night sky would have to wait.

Tennyson's Manor @ First Night Design

Tennyson’s Manor @ First Night Design

So there you have it.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Welcome to followers old and new and thank you for all your lovely ‘likes’!

As soon as I saw this cow among the archives at The Library of Congress, I was smitten.  Wouldn’t you be?  Look at her eyes.  There’s an animal you wouldn’t dream of messing with but the expression is so direct that she holds you in her gaze without allowing you to look away.  I may have called the piece Take the Cow by the Horns but I would not recommend it!

Cow

I created the setting by adding a background from Asunder Ephemera and used Photoshop to adjust the colours and tones until I felt I had done her justice.

The cow has an interesting provenance, coming as she does from a scrapbook of illustrations that were collated by Hans Christian Andersen and A L Drewsen to entertain Drewsen’s grandson Jonas.  These illustrations came from myriad sources — England, America and Germany — and were mounted and coloured. Anderson added his own rhymes to many of the pictures.

In the meantime…

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Dancing in Greek

“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans,” said John Lennon, though he wasn’t the first.  This certainly happens when I’m in Photoshop.  I started with creams and greens and a romantic couple walking on the beach.  An experimental change of blending modes with the textures, one of which is a freebie from French Kiss, produced this vivid mahogany-like backdrop and I was sold!

I added a photograph of the Russian ballerina Tamara Platonovna Karsavina (1885–1978) from The Library of Congress and turned her into a silhouette.  The result reminds me of the lustrous designs on Ancient Greek  pottery, hence the title, Dancing in Greek.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

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